Art Experiences

Yes, Justin, You Can Be A Mommy

Posted on: May 8, 2011

A great way to expand creative thinking is to ask questions. When I teach, I ask the kids a lot of open ended questions in order to get their brains moving and their creative gears going. When we are painting the desert I ask the children, “What would you bring with you if you were in this hot, dry desert? What would you wear? How do you feel?” When we are sculpting animals with clay I ask, “How does his clay feel? What is your favorite animal? What do you like about your animal?” These types of questions do not have a right or wrong answer so children do not need to be afraid of being wrong. Whatever a child thinks, is the right answer.

One question every child gets asked is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m not even sure what I want to be, so I don’t think too many preschoolers have a grasp of this! However, their answers are often cute and sometimes reveal interesting things.

I listened to a class discuss this very question one day at preschool. As expected, many girls said they wanted to be ballerinas and many boys wanted to be firefighters. I think most of us wanted to be one of those a long time ago too. The one answer that struck me was from a boy, let’s call him Justin, who said he wanted to be a mommy. The teacher, who I think highly of, said, “Justin, you can’t grow up to be a mommy because you are a boy.” I cringed at her answer. Yes, logically, this boy could never give birth. And the chances of Justin having a sex change and adopting a child in the future are pretty small. But we are only looking at this boy’s answer through adult, logical eyes.

Justin is not saying he wants to give birth to a child or become a woman. He is saying he wants to be like a mommy, his mommy. He wants to have the qualities his mommy has. He wants to love unconditionally like his mommy loves him. He wants to be fun and nurturing, safe and happy. He wants to know it all and do it all. And you know what Justin, you can be all those things. Go forth, grow up and be a mommy.


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Hi! I'm Susan Stein and of my many passions in life,
two of my biggest are art and children. In the process of teaching children art, I also teach them problem solving, brainstorming, inventive thinking, originality, working with others, hand eye coordination, and so much more. It doesn't matter if you're good at drawing or not, everyone will benefit from experiencing art.

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